Text: Peter Johansson
Editing: Christer Lundstedt
Photos: Christer Lundstedt, Peter Johansson
Video: Christer Lundstedt
Saturday 4th of January
08.02 The last morning here at HI San Diego Downtown has, for our part, just begun. Today await transports to the north in several steps. We are hoping that we will get where we intended. Something just struck me. The last time we woke up on Swedish soil at this date, the 4th of January, was 14 years ago.
08.59 News just reached us in the morning. The Swedish Ice Hockey junior team lost the semi finals against Russia's youngsters after over time, 4-5.
09.56 The numbers 18, 60 and 62 are for us good combination. That's the bus numbers we're going to look for when we get back to Los Angeles. With any of these buses, we get on to where we want to go. Now the last things are going to be packed.
10.21 The skilled travellers are heading towards another building for transportation. Will we get back there? It's not a good start of the trip home if we miss our bus from here.
10.39 We were back at the San Diego Greyhound Bus Terminal. We have asked if we have to check in our bags but it does not seem to be needed according to a man here. It concerns only bags that reach a certain weight. However, the others waiting here have tags on their luggage. How did they get these if they didn't check in the luggage?
10.58 When our luggage was to be loaded, we were told that they should have been checked in and tagged. Now an exception was made for us, no check-in against us keeping track of them. It can get a little tricky, they're in the trunk under us.
12.05 In about two days, I should be in my home. Right now, I'm heading north with the Pacific on my left. We travel by bus from Greyhound.
12.47 After a 5-0 victory over Finland, Canada reached the final of the Junior World Championships in ice hockey. For Finland, Sweden is waiting in the bronze match. President Donald Trump talks about hitting 52 targets in Iran, a target for every American hostage at the embassy in Tehran 40 years ago.
16.01 We have travelled with this bus block by block, street by street and now entered West Century Boulevard. Our travel for today is over soon. We are approaching today's last stop. It is not without some pleasure that it is welcome to arrive.
20.29 The promised champagne was really no real champagne. Instead, we have got pink sparkling wine from California, Allure, Bubbly Pink Moscato. But it is good and a nice ending on a long day that most consisted of various transports. The whole hotel we stay at feels like taken from an American movie. It's hard to say exactly what it is, but it feels like we've seen it all before.
Sunday 5th of January
Los Angeles Greyhound Bus Terminal.
Maguire Gardens in central Los Angeles.
Peter is waiting for a bus in Watts.
Christer is leaving our hotel room.
You can exchange these and get a free drink.
Stylish car outside the hotel entrance.
We could use this if it wasn´t winter.
West Century Boulevard in Inglewood, Los Angeles.
We are close to the airport.
Perfect hamburgers at Carl´s Jr.
Christer is enjoying the complimentary drink.
12.47 After a 5-0 victory over Finland, Canada reached the final of the Junior World Championships in ice hockey. For Finland, Sweden is waiting in the bronze match. President Donald Trump talks about hitting 52 targets in Iran, a target for every American hostage at the embassy in Tehran 40 years ago.13.43 Our bus stopped at Greyhounds bus station in Los Angeles City Center. Without problems, we picked up our backpacks. Now we will go to the bus stop out on 7th Street, will it be bus 18, 60 or 62 that come here first? 13.54 Bus 18 stopped next to us and we stepped on board. Our TAP cards were used and now we continue today's travelling. A larger crowd had gathered at Pershing Square in the centre and they demonstrated against Donald Trump and a possible upcoming war on targets in Iran or Iraq. 14.25 We also got off bus 18 and we walked on foot past the park Maguire Gardens until we reached the 7th Street/Metro Center Metro station. Here we have loaded our cards for more trips. Now we are waiting for a train on the Blue Line, Metro A Line. 14.31 There was a short wait. Soon today's transportation continues, now with the help of LA Metro. It's good to neither rush nor have to sit and wait. 15.06 Our journey with this matter of transport ended at the station 103rd Street/Watts Towers in the Watts District. Now we are waiting for the next bus that will take us further west in this giant city. Sometimes you expect things before they actually happen. I actually thought we were already there. Christer got a little confused when I started getting ready for check-in here at the bus stop. 15.21 The vehicle we were waiting for, bus 117, stopped and let us aboard. Everything works fine with the TAP card. It'll be nice to finally get there.
16.01 We have travelled with this bus block by block, street by street and now entered West Century Boulevard. Our travel for today is over soon. We are approaching today's last stop. It is not without some pleasure that it is welcome to arrive.16.23 The last accommodation here in the United States is called Los Angeles Adventure All Suite Hotel. Here we stay in a room each in suite number 207. A glass of champagne is included in the room. It should be enjoyed later. We do not have any champagne, only a small note each. At the submission of these notes in the hotel bar we´ll get our bubbly drinks. Upon check-in, a deposit fee of US$35 was paid. 16.40 This is another one of the hotels we have experienced that exist under different names depending on where you book the room or which sign you read on. We have discovered that it is also called Tradewinds Hotel and Crown Hotel. We stay in the Inglewood district close to the airport. 17.26 There was a long walk along West Century Boulevard to the hamburger restaurant Carl's Jr (https://www.carlsjr.com). Here we have ordered a burger meal of the biggest kind each, The Really Big Carl. 18.11 It was delicious to once again eat a really delicious hamburger. This is a really good chain. Can't it come to Sweden? We're good at bringing American fast food chains to our country. Why not bring in one that actually offers good burgers? 18.54 On our way home, we bought various evening snacks and also breakfast at 7-Eleven. Now, right close to home, we've taken a coffee break at Starbucks Coffee. The address is smooth and nice, 4000 West Century Boulevard. We rarely miss Starbucks on the trips. Coffee has probably basically never been missed. 20.00 After returning to our room, we have checked in on the upcoming flights. On the domestic in the United States we sit next to each other. During the flight across the Atlantic, Christer sits in front of me. From Amsterdam to Arlanda, we do not yet know how to sit. Then we fly with another company. 20.15 It's time to leave the room and go down to the hotel bar. We have the champagne to drink. Do they really have genuine champagne here?
20.29 The promised champagne was really no real champagne. Instead, we have got pink sparkling wine from California, Allure, Bubbly Pink Moscato. But it is good and a nice ending on a long day that most consisted of various transports. The whole hotel we stay at feels like taken from an American movie. It's hard to say exactly what it is, but it feels like we've seen it all before.20.43 We emptied the plastic mugs and went up to us again. It's almost time to finish another day. On the day that is coming, we shall mostly be in motion, but then in the air. 22.03 The evening, day and stay are coming to an end. It has been eventful and interesting. We have mostly been transported but still it became a few diary lines on this day.
Sunday 5th of January
05.33 The night has been comfortable but so short. Why do we usually have the most comfortable beds where we have the shortest nights? Now we will put the finishing touches to our stay in the United States. It is time to try to get all the way home again.05.51 We're sitting in another lobby waiting for another transport. The deposit fee of US$35 is refunded in 3-5 days. That's a smart move. Now they're getting some interest. We're waiting for the booked transfer. Well, booked and booked. It will depart booked or not. 06.05 It is time for the transfer to the airport. One of the other passengers, an Asian man, has a bag of, to say the least, longer dimensions. Another in the same company has a bag on which it says Abu Garcia. We think they're anglers or something similar. Wait a minute, isn't Abu Garcia Swedish or do I remember it wrong? 06.27 It is now only Christer and I left in the transfer except the man behind the wheel of course. The anglers are going with another plane from another terminal. The car we travel with seems to be equipped for events where champagne drinking is included. They seem obsessed about champagne at our hotel.
It is soon time to leave Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
We are in the air again. Bye bye California!
07.17 So far, we are doing well. We managed to label the luggage on our own. At the dropping of the luggage we were told that they can manage themselves without us all the way home to Arlanda. We don't have to identify the bags in Houston or Amsterdam. We needed to do that at Newark in 2011, but now we don't have to. After a successful safety check, we now drink coffee at Ashland Hill Café.07.51 Just now, the co-passengers and ourselves were greeted a good morning and welcome to the flight with United Airlines to Houston, Texas. United Airlines is a company we've flown with before. This was in 2011 when some of the routes to and from Central America were managed by this company. 08.51 After having flown west towards the Pacific Ocean and then turned back, we´re now flying over Long Beach. 09.58 Calm and carefree, we fly on towards the airport in Houston. We have crossed desert areas in Arizona but then lost control where we are. CHANGING TIME ZONE 13.52 We have landed at Houston Airport, George Bush International Airport. It's a return for our sake, although it was almost nine years since we were here last. Then we were on our way home from Belize in Central America. For convenience, I have moved to local Texas Time. We had feared the confirmation of luggage, self-scanning, passport queue and other problems here but it went unexpectedly smooth. It is only a short walk between the streets E1 and E7. Will we be stamped out of the United States before the next flight?
Lunch in Houston.
14.47 To get something in the stomachs before long flight to Europe, we have arranged with food from the Asian restaurant Panda Express. It is just enough quantity, tasty and above all an affordable price. The Junior World Championship was won by Canada ahead of Russia and Sweden.15.17 This will be the last note with an American time in a while. Now the plane is waiting for us. The time shift will significantly shorten this day and night. CHANGING TIME ZONE 22.43 Now we, the small backpacks and watches are ready to cross eastern North America and then the Atlantic. The destination is Amsterdam.
Monday 6th of January
01.44 The meal that we will call dinner is completed. Anyone who wanted something with C2H5OH had to pay for it. The man between me and the window chose a small bottle of red. It's dark in the cabin. I'll try to get some sleep. The problem is that the body and mind think it's afternoon, about a quarter to five. Now it's time to re-adapt.02.30 It went well to sleep but unfortunately that small bottle of red or something else made the seat neighbour to get out pass me to get rid of liquid. 07.40 There has been sporadic sleep during the night. He next door, seat, but also I've wandered off to empty the bladders. Truth to say, I only know this applies to me. Maybe he next to me went on a walk for other reasons. 08.02 We are seriously heading back to Europe. It is as most often rough to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Maybe it's a good thing we picked the plane over a boat. Think about the time it would have taken. But now there was never an alternative to go by boat.
09.43 We are on European soil again, more precisely in the Netherlands. We arrived at Schiphol Airport outside Amsterdam a little late. It was hard to get off the plane and to be brought by bus to the terminal. I have no memory of the bus at the previous visit to this airport. Now we mostly sit and wait. Soon the third flight will begin.10.46 After getting something easier to chew on and something to wash it down with we are now waiting at gate C6. 12.07 We're in the air. We're on our way home to Sweden. Are our backpacks onboard as well?
We are flying towards a new day.
14.16 Such a homecoming. We landed the "normal" way. Then the plane taxed to the domestic part of Arlanda airport. After waiting, we got out and then were bussed to the international terminal. A long wait followed but now we and baggage are one and together again.14.23 We catch our breath and are happy to be here. Some young people with trunks and ice hockey sticks have passed. They were some players from the Junior World Championship team. 14.31 Christer has left to avoid missing his train. I, who will catch another, sit down where we met on Boxing Day. It has been eventful but also relaxing to travel to the United States. Let's go home and go back to the ordinary life. Wonder when and where the next trip will be?
Peter at the luggage belt, Arlanda airport.
You can see 25 photos from January 4 in this photoalbum.
You can see 8 photos from January 5 in this photoalbum.
You can see 2 photos from January 6 in this photoalbum.